The cute little gal who cuts my hair told me that she doesn’t like surprises or secrets. Not even Christmas secrets, the kind that your hubby and kids keep when they’ve got something stashed waiting to be wrapped. “No surprises,” she told me. “Don’t like ‘em.”
That sounded a bit Grinch-like to me, so I thought I’d take a poll. Do you like to be surprised when you unwrap a gift, or would you rather have some idea of what’s inside the box?
Me? I love Christmas secrets. I’d rather be surprised with a new pair of socks than know about the Godiva chocolates in my Santa stocking. I’m always so tickled that someone took the time to think about me and what I might like. The gift given is the manifest of that thoughtfulness; but the thoughtfulness is the real gift, isn’t it?
Christmas secrets are delicious. They are as much fun for the giver as for the receiver. Oh, there are disappointments I suppose. Like the time I expected a new bike and got a teddy bear instead. But you know what? That bike, had I received it, would be long gone. The teddy bear, a Christmas gift when I was 9, is still with me. I’ll never get rid of the old boy.
The Christmas I received Teddy was also the year I learned that I have the power to ruin Christmas secrets. I was 9-years-old. My big brother, Craig, had finished his shopping and I wouldn’t stop agitating him about what he bought me. “You’ll like it,” was all he would say. And then I’d start in again: What is it, what is it, what is it? Finally, he said, “I’m not going to tell you because it’s supposed to be kept secret so you’ll be surprised on Christmas. But it’s in the top drawer of my dresser, so if you want to look and ruin it for yourself, go ahead.”
How brilliant was that? He put the power in my hands and stopped my nagging questions. I lasted about an hour before I scrambled up the stairs to his room and pulled open the dresser drawer. It was a locket watch. I loved it. Adored it. Couldn’t wait for Christmas so I could wear it. And when Christmas morning arrived and the box sat in my hands, the disappointment gnawed at me.
I’d ruined it. This beautiful, thoughtful gift, chosen with care by the brother I adore, had lost its secret power. The awed delight was already out of the box, you see. I robbed myself of the Christmas surprise, and I stole from my brother the joy of watching my face when I saw for the first time the gift he had chosen.
Christmas secrets are some of the most precious, the revelation of which is anticipated by both giver and receiver. I like my secrets kept under wraps until Christmas morning, but not everyone feels the same way. How about you? Secret, or expected gift?
Merry Christmas! May all your Christmas secrets be sources of joy, and may the loving Spirit of Christmas be yours this season and always.
God bless –
P.S. See you next for Book Blurb Friday!